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Kukawa (kōō´käwä´) or Kuka (kōō´kä), town, NE Nigeria. It is in a farming and salt-mining region. Kukawa was founded in 1814 by Muhammad al-Kanemi of the state of Bornu. The capital and chief commercial center of Bornu, Kukawa was also the southern terminus of a trans-Saharan caravan route to Tripoli, Libya. In 1893, Kukawa was conquered and destroyed by forces under Rabih al-Zubayr, a Sudanese slave trader. It was rebuilt by the British in 1902 as a garrison town.

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